Perhaps someone remembered that Edward Ardizzone hadn't illustrated Andersen--though why he should have been deemed suitable for this particular task is beyond divining. The black-and-white headpieces--and occasional vignettes--are effective enough when everyday doings are involved, but embarrassing when the subject is fanciful--Ardizzone is no hand with abject mermaids. And the color illustrations that accompany a good many of the stories are a washout--watery and weak. The translations, of course, are in competition with Erik Haugaard's, and while they have a distinct character of their own, it's literary and slightly quizzical, slightly askew--whereas Haugaard is always direct. A single sentence illustrates the difference. After introducing the steadfast tin soldier, Corrin writes, ""And it is precisely this one that our story is about,"" while Haugaard simply says, ""He is the hero of our story."" Since most of the same favorites are in this volume and in last year's mini-Haugaard, Hans Andersen: His Classic Fairy Tales--intriguingly and becomingly illustrated by Michael Foreman--this would seem to be a very expendable entry indeed.